A lot has changed since our last State of the CS Industry webinar in 2019. COVID disrupted our lives and the world underwent a massive digital transformation in a matter of a few weeks. This change has had a big impact on Customer Success teams because of their role in facilitating this transformation. Learn more about the current state of the Customer Success industry and what the future holds at our upcoming webinar.
Join Anne Ting, SVP of Marketing and Kevin O’Came, SVP of Customer Success at Totango, on August 27th, 2020 at 10 AM PT/ 1 pm ET for a deep dive into the trends that we are seeing in the industry, how much has changed since the outbreak of the pandemic, impacts on hiring and compensation and lastly what our outlook is for 2020 and beyond.
Can’t make the webinar? Be sure to register anyway so you can get a copy of the webinar recording and the full report.
Read the transcript
Anne Ting [00:00:02] Welcome everybody to the State of the Customer Success Industry and Salary Report 2020 webinar. I'm Anne Ting, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Totango and I'm joined here by Kevin O'Came, who is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success at Totango. So a little bit about the report, Totango has been surveying and reporting on the customer success industry over the last eight years. This year, we've had almost 500 participants who joined us for this survey, and it comes from people from all over the world. We've had folks who are very early in their customer success journey, as well as those who are more mature and have processes and tools and technology in place. And we've seen participants who have just a couple of people in customer success, as well as those who are a much larger organization.
[00:00:51] So it's no question that in 2020, customer success in our whole entire industry has changed. Whether it's the way we work on Zoom meetings, where we could be potentially constantly interrupted by kids or pets, to just businesses being impacted completely. We know that in a world where there's uncertainty in terms of top-line revenue, that the focus on customers and customer success as a part of the revenue journey has really grown. And we'll see that in some of the early results. This is supported by both investments in customer success teams as well as compensation structure really changing to reflect this revenue responsibility growing for customer success teams.
[00:01:31] In the world of remote work, we've also seen an increase in the need for cross-organizational collaboration. I think what's become a reality is not just that there are virtual teams now, but as we even exit this pandemic, the success of the virtual teams in digital engagement has grown. And so, we'll see more and more of this need for people to be able to work together remotely, virtually and across organizations. So technology as an enabler of that has become a critical focal point for companies and organizations as they look at what are the essential capabilities that are needed in their tech stack.
[00:02:09] As we all know, Covid-19 has really put a full stop to business as usual, but it's also was a launching pad for organizations to become much more virtual, digital-centric, agile really quickly. A couple of realities that we now face - number one is the customer. The customer in times of this unprecedented change, customers are becoming this great chance for us to really engage with our customers. We've really stepped up in terms of how we deliver value to our customers that will help prep profound change for our relationships and also revenue for businesses.
[00:02:45] Number two, seismic change has happened and it's not a change that happened at one point in time. It's change that's constant. So the ability to forecast - whether our kids are going to go back to school or whether we can go outside, whether we can go back shopping and eating [at] more businesses - is something that's going to continue to happen and affect us. And our inability to forecast means that we have to be more nimble, more agile in the way that we can react and the way we can continue to course-correct as we test things and try new things and see how those impact our businesses and our customers.
[00:03:20] And reality number three: obviously, the nature of how we work has changed. It's not just the fact that we're on Zoom meetings, but the volume of work has increased and the speed at which we need to actually complete our work has also increased as well. What this means is that we need to work smarter. We need to work more efficiently. We need to work faster, which also impacts what we are doing in our technology.
[00:03:45] McKinsey recently had taken a look at the landscape of companies and situations in the last 20 years where there has been economic disruption. And what they found is that those companies that really sustain this comprehensive focus on customers, see themselves, see their businesses, as not just having stronger customer relationships, but also generating economic gains from about 20 to 50 percent of their cost base.
[00:04:10] We'll dive into some of the details we're seeing here [in the data]. This recognition of customer success and customers being pivotal to protecting businesses and also helping with sustained recovery is supported by the increase in investment in customer success. We've seen a greater number of new teams coming on board, so those that are less than a year old and even those who are two years and younger. There is an emerging growth of teams that are focused on customer success. But even those that already existed have seen growth. 80 percent of those who already had customer success teams are growing as well, and more, half of them have seen salary increases, just demonstrating the more value that's being seen by organizations in the market in general for customer success as well as value for customer success talent. Now, I'm going to turn it over to Kevin, who's going to speak a little bit more about team structure, and what we're seeing in that area.
Kevin O'Came [00:05:04] Thanks, Anne. And as Anne had described that there has been an increase in new and emerging CS teams in their sample of responses that we had this year. Just as the prior slide had shown, you can see this start to show up in the area of the size of customer success teams. So when you start to look at the very low end there on the left, you see team sizes in the range of 0 to 9 that have increased from 2019 to 2020. And that's certainly not surprising given the tenure of the CS organizations that are in this year's sample. So, with many new teams and companies showing up, you can see that in team size.
[00:05:54] What I also want to call out is if you look on the right-hand side, look at the bookends for the range, and this covers the number of accounts that a Customer Success Manager would manage. So we've got the right side of the slide, but the left-hand range there at 1 to 15 and all the way up to 200 plus, what you can see is that both of those categories are going up very significantly. And so the more "just starting out" CS teams are probably the ones that are starting with these really high leverage, high touch models with their top customers and that one to fifteen range. But the digital areas are also something that we're absolutely seeing. And so that's something that I definitely would expect to see a lot more of.
Anne Ting [00:06:56] Just the question we've seen coming in, especially on the high ratio. Obviously, there is some 50 percent growth that we see there now. Those CSMs are handling 200 plus and more. What do you think is accounting for that? And can you unpack that all a bit more?
Kevin O'Came [00:07:11] Sure. The big thing I'd call-out is that it's possible now. So there are two things really at play there. It's data and technology. As companies are trying to drive effectiveness in their customer engagement, but also efficiency, that is more possible than ever with data and technology. So early days in CS, there definitely was a bend towards higher-touch models. We're definitely seeing digital models show up a lot more. And so one space you'll see is either in these very high ratio scenarios or covering all customers. So if you have long-tail customers, that'd be the place that [it] would show up. But we're also seeing those models be used all the way up and down what a typical customer segmentation period would be to make sure that in a reactive sense, you can detect problems and classify them and then do something. Also in a proactive sense to really guide a customer along a proven path to success and the way that they can get great outcomes from your products and services, but also so that they grow over the course of time.
[00:08:28] The revenue journey. So, you know what this slide describes and you can see the chart on the right, is the reporting structure. So where does CS report in the company? And so you can see a variety of role types that CS now reports up to based on the sample. So CEO, Sales - which was oftentimes Chief Revenue Officer type model - Chief Operating Officer, which would tend to have a lot of those go to market functions. So in addition to CS, it could include sales and marketing along with that, and then services and support leaders. And so again, based on the sample of respondents, you see a very large percentage of those showing up as you're reporting directly to the CEO. And I think that just given the mix of respondents, it's not necessarily surprising. Oftentimes we'll see that in cases where there's either a new team that's been launched for CS. Perhaps it's even a new company that's going through their growth and scaling motions, but also if there's some major transfer transformation underway. So that would be cases where maybe there is a renovation of the overall customer experience that would be taking place.
Kevin O'Came [00:09:53] When it gets into the Sales and COO reporting structure, those are relatively even evenly split. In cases where it sells, usually what we'll see is some bifurcation of new customer acquisition that'll take place, and then the customer growth component would largely be owned by CS. And you'll see some that show up when we get into some of the variable compensation models in just a little bit. And then I guess lastly in the services and support area, that's generally the case where those revenue functions, so things like handling the renewal, or maybe handling expansion events might actually still be performed by the sales team, and this is usually where you'll see very much a focus on delivery. So, heavy adoption, the services, the emotion, and in combination with break-fix type things where escalations in risk management would be the focal point. And mobile - we'll definitely come back for this a little bit more when we get into some of the comp aspects.
Kevin O'Came [00:11:02] All right. So here we go, compensation. Now, there's a couple of charts that we'll have here as well. So on the top right-hand side, you can see the breakdown of the compensation model. Base salary, I'd imagine that that number is probably even higher in reality, but based on the responses that came in, it's not surprising that everyone for the most part is going to get a base salary. But here's the part to pull out there. When you look at the pieces underneath - so bonus, first commission or some other type of variable compensation model that would go along with the base salary - you can very clearly see bonus models are absolutely dominating. And when you get into the commission category, when those apply, it's really two factors. It's going to be on upsell. And that certainly could be expansion, cross-sell, some other categories that would fit into the mix there, and then renewals would be the other category. Very focused on revenue-generating activities into the company.
[00:12:16] When you look at the bottom part of the chart, you can see what factors influence the compensation structure and this is the mix of metrics, KPIs that those variable models would typically be based upon. And so overall, people could be multi selectees, typically there's going to be a range of views showing up. For team and company performance, a very high percentage. And so oftentimes those are going to be the metrics and measures that will show up on things like company scorecard. So it could be the overall revenue performance of the company. It could be the overall margin level of the company. So all variety of company-level factors there.
Kevin O'Came [00:13:04] But also the team side. So if there is a certain business unit or certain product line that a CS team would be aligned to, the idea there would be you've got a team overall target for performance that might cross the activities of many people in the group. And so, that's really what that factor is. And that's a very high percentage of the mix. In addition to that -that's not the exclusive model, certainly in addition to that - there are these other categories. And what you can see really in the first three between Renewal, Net Retention, and upsell, there's a big focus on revenue categories, whether that's keeping customers and renewing them at high rates or expanding those relationships. And so that really maps to some of the reporting structure charts that we previously saw where Chief Operating Officer, sales organization reporting structure, those revenue components are definitely going to stand out.
Kevin O'Came [00:14:08] And then in the leading indicator space, there are these other areas that jump to the top as well. So that's where you see, you know, the health score model and NPS show up. Adoption and then onboarding and training also kind of bubbled up to the top of the list. And so certainly those are important to create some of the business outcomes for customers so that they're going to stay with you, renew at high rates, and buy more. And so there's a pretty good mix of those factors. So that basically shows you what the breakdown is. But the headlines would be bonus structures seem to be more common than commission, and there is a mix between overall team or company level performance and then some very specific measures that are typically applied to a portfolio of accounts that someone would be managing.
Kevin O'Came [00:15:01] All right, so how have things changed since COVID? So we've got a couple of things on this slide. Number one, some of the headlines that came out of the salary benchmarking by some of the roles. So for CSMs, Directors, and VPs are the role types. And the good news is that in general, respondents did report higher compensation levels in most cases. What I would say is we did have the opportunity, based on the sample that came in to highlight a couple of different places in the U.S. So we had enough data there for the California and New York averages, with the Europe sample, which I want to say was 24 percent of the overall sample split across a number of countries. It became a little bit tough to give some specific locations.
[00:15:58] So one of the questions coming up so. OT, so that's overall on-target earnings, so it's not just the base salary there. So hopefully that covers some of the other questions coming in.
[00:16:12] What we also had is in mid-March, the world went into a little bit of a lockdown with COVID-19. And so that was kind of the midpoint between when we had opened up the survey. And so we had this opportunity to at least start breaking down the data a little bit in terms of what kind of rolled in prior to that time frame and what came in after that time frame. And so I think time will tell and probably give us an ability to unpack this a little bit more, certainly going into future benchmarks. But what I would highlight is that when you look at the pre to post lockdown, you did have a little bit of a bump up in the red there, which essentially is when someone reported that their overall compensation had actually decreased. And that was largely true across the board when you look at the pre lockdown and post lockdown. So in general, compensation across these roles reported going up. You can see what some of the ranges there in terms of medium results were. But there are cases where we did see some change or shift during the COVID-19 lockdown. And I'm sure that has a fair amount to do with company-specific situations that every industry got affected a little bit differently in terms of business results. And then also the timing of the compensation rollouts. So depending on what the fiscal year timeframe is, generally speaking, a lot of compensation adjustments and rollouts will take place after the close of the year, and so there are probably some cases where that had already happened in some cases when that had yet to take place. So time will give us a little bit more to work with there and we'll see what the results are.
[00:18:21] All right. So top goals and challenges. Across many industries, CS has been this proven path, the recipe for driving growth. And a lot of that's focused on the installed base of customers. And so, we definitely see that reflected in the bottom left chart there, which goes through the top goals of respondents. So what we saw was that churn reduction was the leader there. But when you look down the chart, you've got churn, renewals, product adoption, customer experience all over the 50 percent mark in terms of the top goal areas. And when you think of what all of those are really pointed at doing, there are largely pointed at driving growth. So it's to retain, renew customers, expand the relationship, make sure that you're delivering great value outcomes to customers, and creating loyalty.
[00:19:32] The ones that are a little bit lower on percentages there are on onboarding, advocacy, and expansion. I think largely those are going to be differences in the charters of those customer success teams. So in some cases, you've got a separate services organization that might be doing onboarding rather than CS. And so I think that does get reflected a little bit in those percentages. On the right in terms of the top challenge areas, how you do many of those things showed up in the top challenge areas. So it's good that everyone's thinking about how to be successful and have all these goal areas and what's going to be important. And so the big thing said that showed up are really related to customer insights. That charter and what should people in CS have the responsibility to do. Orchestration: so really, the process and who does what and the accountability that's required. And also efficiency. So how do I make sure that I'm not only effective with my CS models, but I'm also being highly efficient? And then you see organizational support really show up in that executive category.
[00:20:51] The thing that I would just highlight a little bit in the opportunity area is that Reactivity showed up. I think there is just a broader opportunity on being more proactive in avoiding some of the problem states that many CS teams are absolutely focused on correcting and resolving and just making sure that you're not getting them in those positions, to begin with. And so really guiding customers along some proven path to success where you can reliably deliver outcomes. I think that's something that we would likely see show up increasingly in the future.
Anne Ting [00:21:32] I think one of the other things that are interesting, when you take a look at the trend here in terms of top challenges over the last few years is you used to see a lot of the executive support and the clairty of roles higher up in terms of the top challenges, in more the top three, top four. And now as the recognition that the business case for customer success and the value of customer success is definitely well understood and the challenges start moving into the aspect of execution. How do you do kind of achieve your goals and outcomes? Do you have any thoughts about how do CS leaders and people who are practitioners, how do we overcoming these challenges or how do we master some of the goals that are listed here?
Kevin O'Came [00:22:16] Yeah, I think I probably say a lot of it's going to be related to tapping into the knowledge, insight, and understanding that I'll just broadly, say frontline teams have. So certainly in many cases that's going to be the CS team, but certainly, whether it's sales individuals or support organizations, they have a tremendous amount of customer information as well. Those frontline teams all have just a very powerful vantage point in that customers are looking to do things with your products and services. They've got these ambitions and those frontline teams that engage with and work with customers on a regular basis, they get to see what a customer would like to do. Maybe where an opportunity exists to help or deliver greater value would be. And they also get to look back in the shop and see the organizational capability. And if there is some sort of a gap or misalignment or maybe it's something new and some innovation is required, those frontline teams oftentimes are going to be able to see both sides of that equation. Just increasingly there's tons of data and information that are available to people. In addition to looking at data, you can really see where these opportunities are. And any chance to kind of harvest that learning, kind of curate what the largest opportunities are, I think that in addition to all of the data that's available for customers is going to help in tackling those challenges. So, yes, data gets a lot of insights, but also look to teams and people because they'll go see where some of the gaps are.
[00:24:34] All right. And so data-driven insights. We had asked customers, our research respondents, to characterize their description of their visibility into health. And so the survey was broad in nature, and so what had come back was only 17 percent of respondents really had this real-time view of customer health in place. And so when you look at all those other categories, they range from having a unified view, but it takes a lot of time, energy and effort and it's manual; they have the data but not putting it together in some a unified view; they've got some tool that's in place, but it doesn't provide them with a view of customer health or just outright don't have the ability to visualize that. What you can take away from that is in most cases, companies seem to have the data and information. They just haven't organized it into a single view or they're lacking a tool or a capability that hits the mark and would allow them to do that in a very easy way.
[00:25:56] And I think the good news is that those parts of the equation are very solvable problems. It'd be rare that there's not some data that would allow you to put together a health score that you could quickly do if you had the right tool and methodology. That's absolutely something that Totango can help with. So if you happen to be one of those respondents, certainly let us know. We can follow up.
Kevin O'Came [00:26:26] But beyond just having the health score, the thing that I also wanted to highlight here: you don't want to be in a position where you just reporting good or bad news. Let's say health was poor and some segment or a category or for even a specific customer, it's important to be able to take the right actions. And so you got to take that information very quickly, be able to identify those situations, classify the nature of those problems into some categories that you can have some responses that wind up dealing with those problems and fix them. And then, ultimately drive that through resolution.
Kevin O'Came [00:27:12] The other side of things is I'd also highlight, don't ignore the customers that are coming back where health is good. So if you're getting high scores and things are in great shape, there are some learnings there. So what happens in order to produce and create those situations? So if you look for those situations, areas, and do a little bit of a deeper review or a dive, those are great opportunities to then package up the things that matter, that are going to be the high leverage points to keep customers on that proven path to success, to great outcomes. And you can use that to design a lot of the proactive engagement that you'd like to have, and so a fair amount of that could be consistently delivered through digital means. Some of that might be in the way of SuccessPlays that people would be executing in your team. But I think there's a lot of opportunities there and I would believe that health would be characterized as one of the quick win areas for a program. So especially for those just getting started and underway, this is something where I think very rapidly can produce a view of health and surface pieces and parts that actually are being affected to drive improvement.
Anne Ting [00:28:35] Kevin, I totally agree with you. I think that especially now, leaders are needing to make higher-risk decisions faster and with more uncertainty about what's happening so the importance of having really good accessible data and information is all the more important and the ability to get that information to immediately act, react to it and course correct if they see things changing. So when we asked our participants on how they would rate their customer success approach from feeling that you're still in kind of a reactive mode all the way through to being able to be proactive, anticipating, and acting agilely. We see that the majority are still sitting in the range of reactive, which means that either they don't have a real good ability to see what's happening or they don't really have a system of action to act and react as needed. Those that are on the spectrum of being able to be proactive - this is nines and tens on the scale - are doing so because they have technology that they've got in place that is enabling them to be able to combine both that data and that single view of customer health and information and customer data with also the engine to execute and deliver obligation models and the digital communication quickly so that they can react and be proactive very quickly.
[00:29:57] So we talked a bit about collaboration. And as we know, this is becoming even more important. Customer Success is moving away from just being something that the customer success team does to an effort and strategy that many, many people - the entire company - needs to participate in. And so when we looked at the teams and ask them "how much time are you spending, collaborating with others", we see that this is increased over time. So reading this chart, basically 70 percent of customer success teams are spending over 25 percent of their time working with people in service and support. And actually, over 40 percent are spending over 50 percent of their time working with service and support to help drive the customer success, resolve customer issues, handle escalation, service the customers appropriately to help them to get down the journey towards value.
[00:30:52] The second group is from a sales standpoint. Over 50 percent of the customer success team says they spend over 25 percent of time collaborating with sales. And a good 25 percent spend over half of their time collaborating with sales, making sure that the value and promise brought up on the pre-sales side are being delivered and the value is delivered in the execution outcome side of the journey. But more so I think that we need to take away is that we are moving towards these virtual worlds and data shows that it's working and that the expected nature of work is going to be even more virtual, a more digital, even post-pandemic. So how do you ensure that that sharing information is going to happen seamlessly? Well, we have to sit here and we're on Zoom meetings almost all the time. We don't have the time to sit down and take notes and share those notes. So technology is going to play a pivotal role in helping us be able to capture that inflow communication. So the entire company could actually help participate in making sure that their customers are successful.
[00:32:01] And those people that we see there who are using customer success platforms are seeing a 20 percent improvement in their ability to collaborate across teams in this way, which I think is one of the reasons why when we take a look at the report and the trend from 2018 to now, the investment in customer success platforms and customers and usage of customer success platforms have grown. We see a lot of some of those respondents who are still early in their stage relying on CRM and Excel spreadsheets, but you see that shift now starting to happen as the investment in technology that enables more just not just the reporting piece, but also the insights and the action. Today, when there's lack of information and uncertainty, you can't afford to not have that good, accessible data on your customer health, on your customer insights, on your customer sentiment and data at your fingertips, immediately accessible. You can't afford to not be able to be alerted when there are risk and opportunities in your book of business and with your customer base. And you can't afford not to be able to proactively act and react and course correct as needed. And so that combination of data and action and engagement needs to happen pretty seamlessly and pretty quickly and nimbly. And so I think that is one of the reasons why we're seeing some of the shift towards looking at not just the reporting engine and an opportunity engine to really focus systems and technology that focuses on customers and focuses on the action of customers.
[00:33:30] We also do see an increase in terms of the use of survey tools. And I think that is just a testament to what Kevin was showing earlier on, where the customer success teams are increasingly also responsible for customer experience. That combination of customer experience and customer success is part of the entire journey. And to have a more holistic view when you think about your customer strategy of not just the customer success, but customer experience, your revenue growth, your customer analytics all in one and to be able to look at that information and be able to act on that completely and as a whole. And that's also shown in some of the compensation structure information that Kevin showed where NPS is starting to also be a higher part of the factor in terms of metrics of performance. So this wraps up the data and the content of the webinar and the other report that we're going to share with you. I think one of the things we take away, really, from what we're seeing is this increased investment, customers increase focus for the teams and growth of the teams. And the real challenge and goals have been wanting to focus on getting more visibility and moving from a reactive, proactive approach to be able to collaborate more frictionlessly.
[00:34:42] So for those of you who have not had a chance or don't have a platform or early in their success journey, I do want to let you know that Totango has a free community version. So anybody who wants to be able to have a technology platform to enable their focus on customers can either start a trial - a 30 day trial with Totango - or actually be able to use Totango community edition for free. And that's for anybody with up to three users, and you can just go to Totango.com/signup and start signing up. I know we've got several questions that have already come up. Kevin, if you can start and take some of those, it'd be great to get through some of them.
Kevin O'Came [00:35:22] First, the first one that comes up after those categories was essentially around sponsor engagement. And so context was COVID-19. But how can CS teams really contribute and sponsor engagement during some sort of an event like that?
[00:35:42] So I can share some of the things that we've been doing with some of our customers. So, you know, early on, it was things like making sure that there was a very strong capability to communicate with customers. So, things like making sure that there was clarity on what business continuity plans are, that there was a way to educate customers on what remote engagement models would look like since some of those delivery models may have been through people or in person previously. And so that was kind of one category. And so Totango launched some COVID-19 SuccessBLOC that that had done that. And so those are some of the capabilities of that. The other category just broadly would be around tracking engagement across a variety of different role types, and so there may be some various constituent groups that are very important for your products and services. For CS, some of the ones that we would see come up for something that we can probably all relate to on the call, there's gonna be some executive role types. So it could be the head of CS, it might be one of those broad categories, like a chief revenue, customer officer, operating officer or even CEO, but also data teams and I.T. would come to mind. And so, generally speaking, you'd want to have broad and deep relationships and engagement with those different role types. And so we do have a Stakeholder Engagement SuccessBLOC, which essentially is a curated set of best practices and scorecards. So you can look at whether you are actually engaging with all the people that are going to matter, the key contacts. What was the nature and type of those engagements? And if you have some methodology in place where you want to execute a process and make sure that all of that is happening, certainly that can all be tracked and then managed very well.
Kevin O'Came [00:37:54] So up next, we had "Are you seeing an increase in Chief Customer Officer in reporting structure?" So I think that probably got merged and a little bit with the COO role. So, you know, I'd say yes, and you may have some additional comments there as well.
Anne Ting [00:38:15] Yes, I agree. So the question we did merge into this COO and CCO question there, so we didn't explicitly call out Chief Customer Officer as separate from kind of the operational level.
Kevin O'Came [00:38:28] Perfect. Also, we had some questions related to the COVID-19 and compensation breakdown. The question was kind of layered, but it's basically, "Did we ask enough to figure out is it just because it happened to overlap with annual corporate merit cycles? Did we know a source that specifically to business-related or a lockdown type events?" So the answer is no. We really didn't have any questions whatsoever that would allow us to dissect that. It just happened to be coincidental that we had the survey out there and going. And we cut it in that mid-March timeframe just to see if there was anything interesting there. So we didn't want to go out and change the survey and have different questions that some respondents had responded to versus others. But we did have this moment of opportunity to try and see was there anything interesting there? So I think there is there's certainly more that would be possible. We did not ask any further questions that would allow us to dissect that any more than we had shown. But there were some interesting changes in terms of the sample that came in before and after.
Anne Ting [00:40:00] We did have responses to the question just around some of the programs and things that people are doing in place, kind of post-COVID to them to help support their customers. It's not in the specifics of the report that will we have available, but we are putting that one together as well. That will be a whole addendum I will share with everybody.
Kevin O'Came [00:40:22] Perfect. So next question is essentially, "how do you go about implementing the tool - I'm guessing that's probably Totango - with the adjustable level of complexity." So a couple different ways. We have a community edition, as Anne was going through, and that's probably something that we can ensure is in the chat on how to find that and get started. But in general, for Totango, we also have a SuccessBLOC marketplace. And so the idea there is to ensure that where we're taking all the best practices related to scorecards and customer engagement process. SuccessPlays to produce some of those goals and results. Things like automation in campaigns that would go along with a whole variety of different topics. And so, what that provides is a dramatic acceleration opportunity. So if if you're gonna be tackling some new area or new space, yes, the tool's important, but all that process and everything else that goes along with how to actually create the results that I want. We've definitely done a lot of work to consolidate that in a way that allows you to get started very quickly. And if there are some parts and pieces that you're not ready for, certainly those aspects, you can put on the back burner until you're ready.
[00:42:02] All right. Let's see. Organizational alignment. Any insights on how CS and Support teams can align to best serve customers? So I don't know that there were there was a diagnostic capability within the survey itself where I would be able to replay back and have deeper insights in that particular area. But generally speaking, the other things that we absolutely see, it'll show up and things like risk, it'll show up thing in areas like escalation management and also show up as an opportunity for, you know, support teams to become more involved in the kind of engagement with customer support. Teams have a fantastic subject matter expertise when it comes to your products and services, and so being able to leverage that, not only for the reactive support call in or case kind of comes in and you're responding to it, but if you can see those areas and opportunities where you have a need to engage someone, support teams can absolutely participate. They've got the knowledge expertise on your products and services already, and you can leverage that very powerful resource inside companies for even proactive capabilities as well.
Anne Ting [00:43:30] I would just to add to that, Kevin. I think that it's super important to make sure that parts of organization with its support, CS have access to the same type of data and complete information. So the support team not just looking at support tickets as an example of having a system where you're sharing information about, as you're saying, and of all aspects of risk, whether it's the support ticket as well as what might have been an NPS score that they've given versus what's the usage of the platform, as well as information around when a renewal or contract date that's coming up. All of those are elements that feed into information that these teams need to know about the customer to really be able to make sure that they're putting the right active action in place and the right type of model for engaging in resolving this issue. So that's kind of visibility into the complete information, the data about the customer, as well as a very organized approach to how you're going to kind of engage in and support the customer, given sort of those metrics, it's important. And really, this is where some of the technology that needs to be in place help you facilitate that.
Kevin O'Came [00:44:44] All right, perfect. So we'll get through as many of these as we can. I think we've got nine minutes or so, so we're just going to keep on chugging away here and we can absolutely follow up more as needed.
Kevin O'Came [00:44:59] So next question essentially was around: let's say a newer company that's going through all of the growing pains of having errors and a lot of product communications on things that maybe aren't going well. How to approach that without degrading the customer experience? And so I think in general, some things I would highlight there. Number one, you likely have some sort of a status page or something along those lines. I think when it comes to incoming support case volume or something like that, having a notification process where you can inform your customers on what that is, where to turn to for information, and if you're getting flooded with, let's say, tickets or things like that coming in, maybe the first step would be for customers to kind of go to a landing page or something like that that has the status. The other part is if there are frequently occurring things, looking for ways to allow customers to request maybe changes and separate things that are a brake fix versus maybe more enhancement through a process. And you might only open up that process during certain moments of time so that you can be highly responsive to the customers. The other just broad answer is, if there's, you know, there's any follow up that we can do here, just let us know. But the other kind of broad area would be having some sort of a demonstrated listening approach. And that can certainly be driven through campaigns, but if there's, let's say, three big areas that absolutely have to get better over the course of time, telling customers that you've listened, you understand the perspective and feedback that they've given. You're taking action and describing what those actions are. And then having that communication takes place on a very regular basis, probably from a senior level in the organization. That's a proactive level of engagement that allows you to keep those communications open, but also not have everything about be about individual problems but more of the forward progress that you're making over the course of time.
Kevin O'Came [00:47:34] And on another one, we had a frictionless collaboration slide. Definition of the operations team on that slide. Do you happen to know that one? We can come back to this if you want to pull it up and..
Anne Ting [00:47:50] Yes, I believe that it is focused on the customer operations team that focuses on the technology elements of platforms and kind of the administration. But I will just confirm that.
Kevin O'Came [00:48:03] Perfect. We had another... Breakdown of the type of companies that responded. So looks like it could be anything from CSM, ARR... I think that it's essentially the, do we have any segment, finer grain segmentation data that's available on either company type, vertical industry size, all those sorts of things.
Kevin O'Came [00:48:33] And so I think that's going to relate to the first set of questions, so we'll circle back on that before we wrap here because I think that was a pretty common one.
Kevin O'Came [00:48:45] Let's see real, renewal commission sharing between sales and CS teams. So I think, in general, we saw in the data, right, there's the split where many teams have bonus models, some have commission models. There's going to be cases where a CS team actually handles the renewal event. There's gonna be cases where the CS team is essentially responsible for what I call renewal readiness, and they don't do the financial contract close. That's handed back over to a selling role to do it, which may be an account management team and maybe some specialized renewal management team.
Kevin O'Came [00:49:27] So there's a lot of variation that exists there. I think in the best practice area, what I would say is you absolutely don't want to create the collisions or friction or competition between groups. Generally speaking, if there's territory alignment so that you can have, let's say, it's a separate account manager or renewal rep and a CSM, if those territories align, it makes a little bit easier to have a shared number and target. Some teaming can take place. Ultimately, I think when it comes to the commission rate itself, we should also look at the cost of that renewal. So if that's retention cost or renewal cost, make sure that when you do the roll up all the way up and down the individual contributor roles that get paid on those events and the management teams, that it's just going to align with your margin expectation. And you probably are going to want to have a more effective renewal cost structure than new acquisition, which tends to be a little bit higher.
Kevin O'Came [00:50:45] Let's see. Disparity between OT for roles that involve securing renewals, retention, expansion versus those that certain services and support. So I don't know that that there is anything specific that I would say came out of the survey itself, and there is plenty of opportunity, probably ask more. However, just my perspective would be when there is the focus on those revenue associated areas, I think two things happen. There generally can be a greater opportunity for compensation to scale up. But what generally goes along with it is that there's more in the variable mix. So when you look at the present breakdowns, if it's more in the kind of services support area, focus on kind of the reactive motions rather than contract events or maybe could be proactive, but just lacking the financial event side of that. The base to bonus or base to commission rate, there's going to be more on the variable side of things. The more revenue alignment there is. So with that....Anne, there's more here that we're we're just probably not going to get to. But any comments on just any other segmentation information that we have with data? I'm sure that's also something we can take as a follow up if needed.
Anne Ting [00:52:29] Definitely. So everyone will get access. We'll send an email out in the next 24 hours. You'll have access to the actual full report. There are a lot more data and details on what we presented as well as the recording that we just did today. And if there are more questions that were not answered, feel free to send us an email and then we can get you those answers as we dive into the report. As I said, I think this element of what's happening post-COVID. Are there specific programs and changes? We're going to be diving and tackling that a bit more and dissecting that information and calling those out into a separate follow-up report.
Anne Ting [00:53:03] So I think with that, we're at time. So I do want to thank everybody for participating. Hopefully, you're getting value. I know in chat, we've been listing areas where you can find these resources, more webinars we've had. Please go ahead and sign up for the other sessions that are coming up. I think they'll be deep-diving into some of these specific topics to talk about around performance for teams, cross-company collaboration. I'm sure we'll look for you to join us there.
Kevin O'Came [00:53:32] All right. Thank you so much.